DEBKAfile sources refute the overblown reporting of a major US pullback from northeastern Syria and reveal that after 100-150 troops leave two observation posts, 2,250 remain in position. Our military sources disclose that, early Tuesday, Oct. 8, the Pentagon cut the Turkish army and air force off from US command and intelligence and the US regional Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force. Without these resources, Ankara cannot conduct any major aerial operation in Syria or elsewhere or launch an offensive operation outside Turkey because it would be denied air cover.
Initial reporting on the US decision to leave two observation posts and so abandon the Kurds to a Turkish invasion was highly exaggerated due to diverse – often competing – motives. Those two posts on the Turkish border are not located in Kurdish territory. For now, there is no sign of the bulk of US forces quitting their air and other bases in Syria. Neither are Turkish forces seen to be preparing to attack Kurdish towns in northern Syria. American training and its flow of equipment continue uninterrupted for the Syrian Defense Forces, of which the Kurdish YPG is the backbone. As an added deterrent, President Donald Trump warned Turkey on Monday night if it “goes too far” – meaning that if President Recep Erdogan carries out his repeated threats to attack the Syrian Kurds to clear them out of the regions abutting on the Turkish border – the Turks “would suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy” which is already in a very bad way.